Vulnerability Note VU#104280

Multiple vulnerabilities in SSL/TLS implementations

Original Release date: 30 Sep 2003 | Last revised: 25 Aug 2004


Multiple vulnerabilities exist in different vendors' SSL/TLS implementations. The impacts of these vulnerabilities include remote execution of arbitrary code, denial of service, and disclosure of sensitive information.


The U.K. National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) has reported multiple vulnerabilities in different vendors' implementations of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols. SSL and TLS are commonly used to provide authentication, encryption, integrity, and non-repudiation services to network applications such as HTTP, IMAP, POP3, LDAP, and others. Clients and servers exchange authentication information in X.509 certificates. While the SSL and TLS protocols do not use ASN.1/BER to communicate at the application layer, they do require an ASN.1 parser to encode and decode X.509 certificates and other cryptographic elements (e.g., PKCS#1 encoded RSA values and PKCS#7 encoded S/MIME parts) at the presentation layer.

A test suite developed by NISCC has exposed vulnerabilities in a variety of SSL/TLS implementations. While most of these vulnerabilities exist in ASN.1 parsing routines, some vulnerabilities may occur elsewhere. Note that cryptographic libraries that implement SSL/TLS frequently provide more general-purpose cryptographic utility. In such libraries, it is common for ASN.1 parsing code to be shared between SSL/TLS and other cryptographic functions.

Due to the general lack of specific vulnerability information, this document covers multiple vulnerabilities in different SSL/TLS implementations. Information about individual vendors is available in the Systems Affected section. Note that VU#104280 broadly covers ASN.1 related vulnerabilities in SSL/TLS implementations other than OpenSSL. VU#255484, VU#732952, VU#380864, VU#686224, and VU#935264 are specific to OpenSSL.

Further information is available in NISCC advisory 006489/TLS.

This set of vulnerabilities is different from those described in VU#748355/CA-2002-23.


The impacts associated with these vulnerabilities include execution of arbitrary code, denial of service, and disclosure of sensitive information.


Patch or Upgrade
Apply a patch or upgrade as appropriate. Information about specific vendors is available in the Systems Affected section of this document.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
AppGate Network Security ABAffected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
Apple Computer Inc.Affected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
Check PointAffected30 Sep 200322 Oct 2003
Cisco Systems Inc.Affected30 Sep 200302 Oct 2003
ConectivaAffected30 Sep 200302 Oct 2003
Cray Inc.Affected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
DebianAffected30 Sep 200308 Oct 2003
F5 NetworksAffected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
FreeBSDAffected30 Sep 200322 Oct 2003
Gentoo LinuxAffected-02 Oct 2003
Guardian Digital Inc. Affected30 Sep 200302 Oct 2003
Hewlett-Packard CompanyAffected30 Sep 200323 Oct 2003
HitachiAffected30 Sep 200311 Nov 2003
IBMAffected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
Ingrian NetworksAffected30 Sep 200301 Oct 2003
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.View More »

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



This vulnerability was discovered and researched by NISCC .

This document was written by Art Manion.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • CERT Advisory: CA-2003-26
  • Date Public: 30 Sep 2003
  • Date First Published: 30 Sep 2003
  • Date Last Updated: 25 Aug 2004
  • Severity Metric: 11.81
  • Document Revision: 26


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